My Sustainable Development Project

By Andrew Engesser on November 6, 2008

One of the projects assigned to us for our Sustainable Development class required us to give a twenty minute presentation focusing on the development, particularly through the lenses of the GDI(Gender-related Development Index), HDI(Human Development Index), and the GEM (Gender Empowerment Measure), of a country. This assignment was to help us see how these statistics do not show the entire picture of a developing country.

My country was Finland, but that is not the important part of this story. Ever since coming to Romania I’ve been stretched to think outside of what I already know. Now if you know me, you know that I love learning, so this kind of challenge wasn’t that hard for me to endure; however, when I did this country examination/presentation, I realized how important Human Development truly is.

After doing this project I realized how important Government, Human Development, and Economics are. I found a true appreciation for my country as a bigger picture. Growing up I knew about my Government, but I didn’t fully understand what their role was in my life. When learning about Human Development I started to see how lucky I am as an American, but more so as a student who as the opportunity to learn about these topics.

Economics was always numbers for me; now they are still numbers, but so much more. The numbers found through economics goes beyond a numeral, goes beyond a HDI, it helps people like you and me learn not only about another country, but about other people; people that are living, people that have a soul.

I am greatly appreciative for having this opportunity to not only learn here in Romania, but to be educated on topics that truly matter and will make a difference in my life. From now on I will pay more attention to my Government on a national level, but more so in my home town. It’s crazy how much I hate seeing the taxes taken out of my pay check, and yet I’ve never ever checked to see what that money is doing in my community.

Interesting fact, in Finland, if you made over 62,200 euro in the year 2008 you would be taxed 31.5%; Finland has a higher ranking in the HDI then the United States.